The comte Auguste Villiers de L’isle Adam wrote a number of ‘contes cruels’ [‘Cruel Tales’] in the 1880s. These the only two that I have been able to find, so far.
No translator was listed for either.
‘The Desire to be a Man’
An actor feels emotionally numb, though he simulates emotion on the stage every night. So he resolves to commit a crime in order to feel remorse, guilt etc. As ever, things do not go as planned.
‘The Torture by Hope’
A tale of the Spanish Inquisition.
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